Changes in roof pitch on a metal roof often cause ice dams to develop As you see in the photo, a steeper pitch upper roof transitions into a lower pitch roof causing snow pack to pile up where it becomes prisoner to freeze and thaw cycles and ice dams form. It is necessary to install a system that will aggressively encourage piled snow pack to quickly melt. The patented HotSeam system (see photo insert) was designed to eliminate snow pack on all problematic areas on a metal roof structure.

This photo clearly shows how laying heat cable on a roof edge in a ZIG ZAG pattern does not work. As you can see, the homeowner was forced to manually rake the roof edge (which is a problematic process in itself!) to TEMPORARILY avoid roof ice problems. I say TEMPORARILY because once the next snow storm arrives, the manual process will have to be repeated. The raking process can increase the likelihood that ice problems will develop since the insulating layer of snow pack has now been removed! Heat cable on a roof edge in a ZIG ZAG or SERPENTINE pattern has a small chance to be successful because it is NOT able to heat a roof edge on a continuous basis which is MISSION CRITICAL! Please understand HotEdge Systems use heat cable also. HotEdge, Inc. has just developed roof ice melt systems that utilize heat cable in a more effective way and using at least 50% less energy.

This photo shows an ice dam forming because there is not a melt path for snow melt to travel through the gutter and downspout. Snow melt re-froze in the downspout blocking flow. Quickly the whole downspout is bulging with expanding ice and the downspouts will need to be replaced or repaired. As you can clearly see in the photo, once ice buildup reaches the top of the gutter/downspout, the foundation for a problematic ice dam has been created. A solution is simple; lay commercial grade heat cable in the gutter trough and each downspout so snow melt has a clear path to reach the ground!

Laying heat trace cable on a roof edge in a zig zag or serpentine pattern is that it is not a great concept. for several reasons; (1) it is not able to heat a roof edge on a continuous basis (allowing icicles to develop and ice dams form as seen in this photo), (2) the heat trace cable is secured to the roof using roof clips which penetrate a roof deck voiding warranties on asphalt shingles, etc.,

Damage photo caused by manual methods